Associates in Advocacy now has two sites on the internet. Our primary help site is at http://www.aiateam.org/. There AIA seeks to offer aid to troubled pastors, mainly those who face complaints and whose careers are on the line.

Help is also available to their advocates, their caregivers, Cabinets, and others trying to work in that context.

This site will be a blog. On it we will address issues and events that come up.

We have a point of view about ministry, personnel work, and authority. We intend to take the following very seriously:


Some of our denomination's personnel practices have real merit. Some are deeply flawed. To tell the difference, we go to these criteria to help us know the difference.

We also have a vision of what constitutes healthy leadership and authority. We believe it is in line with Scripture, up-to-date managerial practice, and law.

To our great sadness, some pastors who become part of the hierarchy of the church, particularly the Cabinet, have a vision based on their being in control as "kings of the hill," not accountable to anyone and not responsible to follow the Discipline or our faith and practice. They do not see that THE GOLDEN RULE applies to what they do.

If you are reading this, the chances are you are not that way. We hope what we say and do exemplify our own best vision and will help you fulfill yours. But we cannot just leave arrogance, incompetence, and ignorance to flourish. All of us have the responsibility to minimize those in our system.

We join you in fulfilling our individual vow of expecting to be perfect in love in this life and applying that vow to our corporate life in the United Methodist Church.

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If you have any questions or suggestions, direct them to Rev. Jerry Eckert. His e-mail address is aj_eckert@hotmail.com. His phone number is 941 743 0518. His address is 20487 Albury Drive, Port Charlotte, FL 33952.

Thank you.


Tuesday, May 22, 2012

April 25 - Actual Lobbying

Lobbying is to be available to those who will be looking at your petitions so I picked the legislative committee with the largest number of mine, Judicial Administration. An experience I’d had helping with the appeal of a church trial showed me the many gaping flaws in our trial system and I tried to repair them with my petitions. I knew that several of the committee members had also been involved in one way or another with that effort and had seen my arguments.

What was frustrating on Wednesday morning was that the presider took so long to get into the flow of action. To her, “diddly” stuff seemed to be terribly important and needed to be given time. Many of those elected to such crucial positions in the working committees are inexperienced.

The chairperson elected to the Committee on Reference wasted no time. She was also in the Judicial Administration group and would have been just as peeved about the inefficiency. But at that time, the committee she chaired was busy elsewhere.

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